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Lankford Successful in Including Charitable Giving Deduction Included in Targeted COVID-19 Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) has long advocated for expanding the current above-the-line deduction for charitable giving and today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced such an expansion in the bill providing targeted funding for coronavirus relief. Thousands of nonprofits have expressed support for Lankford’s bill to further incentivize charitable giving. 

“This year has been full of uncertainty for many families. Americans have stepped up to support their neighbors through local non-profits and houses of worship to help their neighbors impacted the most,” said Lankford. “Government sees the needs across the country as numbers on a page, local non-profits and houses of worship know each name and each need. It is good policy to incentivize giving to local entities that care for our neighbors since non-profits and houses of worship are much more efficient and more personal as they care for families in crisis. Millions of Americans give each year to non-profits and houses of worship, the bill today gives tax relief to those who provide human-relief. Even if you do not itemize your taxes, this bill directly reduces the tax burden on any family who gives to a non-profit that benefits families, and it strengthens non-profits in every zip code of the nation.”

Specifically, the bill would double the amount in the CARES Act—for tax year 2020—to allow for a $600 above-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes. The bill also allows for a $1200 above-the-line deduction for charitable giving for those filing a joint return.

Since first introducing a bill to incentivize charitable giving in 2017, Lankford was joined by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) in offering a similar proposal to the CARES Act. In his recent testimony before the congressional Joint Economic Committee, Lankford offered his full support for encouraging Americans to work with and give to nonprofits in their communities and around the nation to best serve their families and neighbors.

Lankford and Senator Angus King (I-ME) sent a letter in May to Senate leadership to request the inclusion of charitable giving provisions in any future coronavirus relief bill. Last year, Lankford and Coons introduced the Lessening Impediments from Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act, which would protect churches, charities, and other nonprofit organizations from a provision in the 2017 tax law overhaul that would tax some employee benefits for the first time.

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